Marshall Newhouse’s first year with the New England Patriots ended in disappointing fashion — while the team went 12-4 in the regular season it was bounced from the playoffs in the wild card round — but it still had his positive aspects for him personally: after the veteran offensive tackle failed to survive roster cutdown day in New Orleans, he went on to start nine games for New England as the club’s top backup option at his position.
Possibly more importantly, however, the 31-year-old also got to spend time working under arguably the best offensive line coach of his generation. Dante Scarnecchia, in his 34th year working as an assistant coach for the Patriots, helped Newhouse get up to speed quickly after he joined the team and prepared him to fill in as a stater at left tackle after Isaiah Wynn had to temporarily be placed on injured reserve following a toe injury suffered in Week 2.
Newhouse, of course, is among the last players to work under New England’s legendary offensive line coach: the 71-year-old Scarnecchia announced his retirement from coaching earlier on Tuesday, leaving the Patriots with a big vacancy on their coaching staff and plenty of positive memories to look back on. Newhouse does not have a lot of them given the length of his tenure with the team, but he still shared them with SB Nation earlier this week.
“Generally, it’s just a sad day for football,” he told R.J. Ochoa and Jeanna Thomas for the Pats Pulpit Podcast Network at the Super Bowl in Miami. “I mean, he’s one of the best offensive line coaches and minds that we know. For me personally, it’s sad just because even in my few months of being there I grew so much. I learned so much even in my tenth year, and that says a lot about a guy: that people buy in.”
Newhouse apparently did “buy in” in 2019, even though the results were not always positive as he surrendered 30 quarterback disruptions — second most on the team behind only right tackle Marcus Cannon — despite his comparatively limited playing time. That being said, the circumstances did him no favor and it appears as if Scarnecchia’s input did play a considerable role in helping him get up to speed quickly and adapt to his new role.
“He makes you better, holds you accountable but you have a good time winning,” continued Newhouse. “The tedium of football can wear you down if you don’t feel like someone’s getting the best out of you. He was a guy that you know who you’re getting every day. He’s fiery at times but you bought in and you knew he made guys better and you can see from the outpouring of love the impact he had on guys.”
“You know, Trent Brown last year and all the guys who are currently there. So I mean that speaks for itself,” added Newhouse. The veteran lineman will obviously not go the same route as Brown — he left New England in free agency after one season to become the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL — but he still faces some uncertainty after his first season with the Patriots: he is scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency in mid-March.